The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been advised not to make available the updated voters register available to the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) for the purpose of the proposed local government poll planned for October 15, 2022.
The nation's electoral umpire was advised to stay aloof from the proposed local government election being organised by the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC).
The advice was given by Osun Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) solicitors in a letter addressed to the nation's electoral body.
The letter which was signed by Hashim Abioye, the Osun PDP solicitor noted that the insistence of the OSIEC Chairman in going ahead with conducting the local government poll in the state despite various warnings from concerned citizens of Osun State which included the PDP is in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“In a bid to ensure that the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 are complied with by OSIEC in the conduct of local government elections in Osun State, we instituted a suit before the Federal High Court, Osogbo in Suit Number: FHC/OS/CS/94/2022 in which the legitimacy of the present constitution of OSSIEC and the constitutionality and legality of the planned local government election amongst others is being challenged by PDP.
"The Independent National Electoral Commission is a party in that case and the processes have been served on both INEC and OSSIEC.
“The Provision of the Electoral Act, 2022 Section 28 thereof is that no election can hold until and unless a notice of such election is given “not later than 360 days” before the said election and in Section 29 of the same Act, list of candidates must be published “not later than 180 days”.
"There is no doubt, the said provisions of the Electoral Act are mandatory and must be followed to the letter.
"The Supreme Court decision in OSSIEC V. ACTION CONGRESS also mandates that the provisions of the Electoral Act must be complied with in the conduct of local government elections.
"The phrase “not later than” has been interpreted by the apex court to mean “not shorter/earlier than”.
“To our dismay, none of the above conditions and stipulations as envisaged by the Electoral Act, 2022 and against the decision of the Supreme Court in OSSIEC V. ACTION CONGRESS have been complied with by OSSIEC and yet, OSSIEC still insists on conducting an election that is unknown to law.
“It baffles our minds that the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSSIEC) supposed to uphold the provisions of the Electoral Act which is the substantive law on elections, is the one allowing herself to be used by some garrulous politicians to perpetrate illegality, unconstitutionality and criminality even after several warnings from the PDP against same."
“We do not have any problem with OSSIEC conducting a local government election but we envisage an election that will be conducted in compliance with the law.
"We wish to bring to the notice of the Independent National Electoral Commission that the Electoral Act pursuant to 'Section 150' criminalizes the conduct of Local Government election by a State Commission that is in contravention of the relevant provision(s) of the Act."
Abioye who noted that going ahead with such will result in INEC aiding and abetting OSIEC in perpetrating a criminal act also reminded the nation's electoral umpire that in order to protect her integrity and name, it should disassociate herself from the illegal and unconstitutional election planned by the OSIEC.
The solicitors also want INEC to take every reasonable step to stop OSIEC from conducting the local government election till the conditions stipulated by the Electoral Act, 2022 are fulfilled.